Establishing Common Goals for Marketing & Sales Alignment

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In a previous post, we took a look at why aligning your Marketing and Sales teams is the best way to more effectively manage and nurture Leads.

One of the Best Practices we briefly touched on involved establishing and maintaining shared common goals for the two teams. Aligning the efforts and resources of all involved with lead generation and sales management increases everyone's ability to achieve the revenue goals that help a business boost its bottom line.

The truth is, many companies have a marketing team that generates leads, then just hands those leads off to the sales team, calls it a day, and never thinks about them again. Since Marketing's goals are usually based on the number of leads they generate, they have no encouragement to ensure those leads are quality.

Isn't increased revenue the biggest shared goal? Then have Marketing and Sales sit down together to develop a strategy to achieve that goal.

The best ways to get started are Lead Scoring, Lead Qualification, and Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Let's take a closer look at how to implement them.

What Is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is a process for ranking individual leads to determine where they fall in the lead qualification process. Every generated lead is scored based on their interest and activity in your business.

Activities are given a numerical value, and the total is added up at the end to measure interest and activity. For example:

  • Offer download = 10 pts
  • Completion of a marketing campaign = 10 pts
  • Open an email = 1 pt
  • Click on a link in email = 3 pts
  • Visit the website more than 3 times = 10 pts
  • Submit a Contact form = 15 pts

What actions are given what value is based on input from both teams. While Sales might consider submitting a Contact form to be more valuable than any other action, Marketing may want to assign a higher value to Contacts who complete a marketing campaign.

Have both teams agree on the values assigned to each action.

Once everyone agrees on values, set triggers based on different thresholds for the score. For example, if a prospect lead score reaches 50, they may be considered a MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) and the marketing team would be notified.

These triggers help both teams to move prospects through the buying cycle. Once you've had time to develop some historical data, you can review closed deals to see how their activities align with your scorecard.

Moving On to Lead Qualification

Determine where a prospect falls in the sales funnel by utilizing Lead Qualification. Not all leads are good, and Lead Qualification allows you to separate the wheat from the chaff.

A Marketing Qualified Lead, or MQL, is a lead that marketing feels confident is a good potential buyer based on activities and interests.

These MQLs can be identified and nurtured through a more personalized approach to help them complete the Buyer's Journey. Whether these MQLs are identified by a certain lead score, or through some other process of analyzing a lead's fit for your buyer personas, they can receive an individualized nurturing process from both sales and marketing.

A Sales Qualified Lead (or SQL) is a lead that Sales believes is almost ready to buy (i.e., they have reached out and are ready to complete the sales process). At this point, Sales should take over and spend their time and energy on these quality prospects that are a good fit for the solutions you're offering.

Finally: Service Level Agreements

A Service Level Agreement simply says what the company is going to do and when. These are often used as part of the contracts between a business and their client, but to be frank, we believe SLAs have a place as part of the Sales and Marketing alignment process, too.

Craft a simple agreement that lays out in detail which team is responsible for what aspects of the Inbound Methodology and Lead Nurturing process, which team will take which actions along that process, and their shared goals and benchmarks.

Examples:

  • Marketing-sourced revenue goals. For example, 50% of new revenue will be generated from marketing efforts (marketing now has a stake in the bottom line).
  • Marketing will generate X number of leads per month and X number of MQL's needed to achieve their revenue goals.
  • Sales will follow-up with all SQL's within x number of minutes.

For a more in-depth look at Service Level Agreements as crafted and utilized between in-house Sales and Marketing teams, take a look at this blog post from HubSpot on Marketing & Sales SLA.

Waypost Marketing: Ready to Share Your Goals and Tell Your Story

When you're searching for digital marketing in Greenville, SC, or around the nation, you need a team that is ready to work right alongside your in-house sales team to bring in quality leads and help nurture them to the point of sale and beyond.

At Waypost Marketing, we provide Inbound Marketing services that utilize methodology proven to help companies succeed, whether you're a small local business or a large-scale B2B. Reach us by phone at (86)( 288-6162 or contact us online at any time to get started.

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Posted by Doug Fowler on December 14, 2017 in lead generation | 0 Comments